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James Buchanan's Blog

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Sep.25.2012
I was interested to read in today's Writer's Almanac that William Faulkner woke up early each day, at a breakfast of broild steak (not fried for some reason), eggs, and lots of coffee and then would take his tobacco and pipe and go to his study. Once there he took the doorknob off so no one could...
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Sep.24.2012
This morning I woke up and did pretty much what I do every morning, shower and then stepped out to a cafe for coffee and some baked item. The difference between today and most days has been context. We experience and learn through events large and small and most recently I have been tasked with...
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Sep.23.2012
I had two thoughts this morning, one on running and the other on sleep. What connects them is that both can be used to clear the head and provide the brain with a chance to organize, sort and process the myriad bits of data that come to it through any given day. I have been lucky in my life that...
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Sep.20.2012
The past few weeks have been a lesson in the power of writing, or perhaps, the powerful need to keep writing even as life goes through a few bumps and changes. I am busy now with three projects and potentially a couple more, but in the midst of this a relationship that was hugely important and...
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Feb.17.2012
I was very fortunate to have been raised by teachers for a couple of reasons. The first is that they instilled a deep curiosity and intellectual drive within me that continues to this day. The second is that they taught at Quaker schools, which instilled a sense of community and social justice. I...
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Feb.02.2012
Hi All, I am sure many of you are equally as disgusted by the recent decision by the Susan G Komen for the Cure foundation's decision to de-fund Planned Parenthood's cancer screening and anti cancer work. It is disgusting and shameless. As a cancer survivor myself and someone living with the...
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Nov.23.2011
My Daughter and I
Hi, I had to add two. One is of me and my daughter as she is selecting her first bikini at age 11. Enough to give me a heart attack for two reasons: A bikini and the arguing over what is an appropriate bikini for an 11 year old.   The other is one I took at the beach one day. I live near the...
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Nov.08.2011
Last night Joan Didion read in Cambridge, Mass., and I was lucky enough to have seen her do so. I went with a friend (a lovely and talented woman and writer in her own right) without any tickets hoping that there might be a smidge enough room for us to squeeze in, which, despite there being a...
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Nov.01.2011
I think one of the things that has caused many writers to kind of avoid online only publications is that they are amorphous, they don't have the tangible or tactile qualities of a print publication. After all, we all grew up reading from books and magazines printed on paper and sold in stores and...
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Oct.31.2011
I really think that writing, especially creative writing, even if it is nonfiction, is ultimately an autodidactic pursuit. I don't think I have read an interview of any writer, successful or not, who while crediting parents or friends or an MFA program or some other motivator has not in some way...
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Oct.13.2011
Despite frustration that much of short fiction suffers from too much control from MFA programs and graduates, there is value to having an MFA. It will improve your writing and chances of publishing. However, not everyone has the time or money (20 to 30 hours per week and $20,000 to $30,...
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Oct.04.2011
When I first started writing I worked for a relatively well read bi-weekly newspaper that served a largish community here in New Hampshire. For what it was, it was a good newspaper put together by a relatively small staff of young writers and ad sales professionals. On the day that each issue came...
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Oct.04.2011
By nature I have never really been a very patient person. As a kid I always let money burn a hole in my pocket while my brother was good at saving his money and using for things that he wanted. He was also very good at attracting money, which seems to have persisted even now. My lack of patience...
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Sep.30.2011
Today, I am reaching out to the Red Room community for some help with a parenting project. As a single parent I am always challenged for time, money, and rest. It is a lot of work maintaining two children, one a young girl of 11 and the other a 13-year-old boy with Asperger's Syndrome. However, it...
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Sep.21.2011
My last post was highly critical of one MFA graduate's hubris as well as the narrowing down of writing into hierarchical categories that are utterly meaningless, yet limit publication and the quality of short stories, essays, and literary journals. I did, however, say there are some exceptions. Of...
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